Blue DOOM Key - Memories From Childhood




About: Car Fanatic, DIY Hacker But I'm Super Lazy so dont expect much out of me

Wolfenstein and Doom were my first PC video games, back in the Era of 486 and Pentium PC running DOS or Windows 95/98. And I've always wanted to design some kind of memento of my childhood. I happen to have some pretty awesome tools at my disposal, A full spectrum 5th Gen hobby laser and a portabee 3d printer. With these I've built in my eyes a pretty cool little reminder of one of my favorite childhood games. 

Thanks to and for the Sprite images attached to this Instructable. 

Step 1: Tools / Materials / and Software Required

Software Required
Coral Draw 
Cura (a STL Slicer for 3d printers)
Pronterface (recommended print software for the portabee 3d printer)
Retina Engrave (Laser Cutter Control software)

Tools Required
3D Printer 
Laser Cutter 
Assorted Jewelers Files 
Paint Brushes 
Hot Glue Gun
Soldering Iron 

Materials Required
Assorted Grit Sanding paper
Blue, Red, or Yellow 0603 SMD LED's 
Wire Wrapping Wire 
1/4 Acrylic 
Assorted Paint 
3D Printer Filament 
Hot Glue 
Super Glue

Step 2: Designing the Vector Image for Laser Cutting / Engraving

If you aren't interested in learning how I designed the vector image for my laser engraver skip this series of steps, and download the vector image attached. 

A. Find the sprite your going to enlarge to base your design off of, and download it.
B. Open Coral Draw and Import the Sprite of the Doom key 
C. Trace the outline, remember keep the size in mind you can only make it as big as your laser can cut / engrave 
D. Add some Circuit for your laser to engrave out of the Acrylic
E. Remove the imported Doom Key Sprite
F. Now you are left with your Vector image for cutting / Engraving. 

I have attached my Coral Draw file and SVG format of the Vector (in the zip file as it wouldn't let me upload the straight .SVG). 

Step 3: Designing the Base in SolidWorks

If you aren't interested in learning how to design simple objects in SolidWorks skip this series of steps and Download the STL file attached to this step. Also this series of steps is based upon how large you make your Acrylic key. I made my base just large enough for button cell batteries or an external power supply. If you plan to power it by AA batteries or AAA batteries you will need to design your base to be much larger. I also didn't mind using a hollow base without cover as this is a night light in my Living area so safely light a path to my washroom, and you cannot see in the bottom. 

A. Open up solidworks 
B. Start a new part 
C. Switch to the Sketch tab and select the Corner Rectangle
D. Make a Rectangle for the overall size of the base
E. Make a second rectangle a little bit bigger than your Doom key
F. Switch to the features tab and select Extruded boss / base 
G. Set how thick you want the top of the base and click the green check mark
H. Now make two more rectangles, these two rectangles will determine how thick your outer wall is
I. Again select the Extruded Boss / Base feature and select how tall you want the walls and press the green check marks
J. Save your object in STL format for the printer software 

Attached is the STL file that I used for my base.

Step 4: Using the Laser Engraver / Cutter (Full Spectrum)

My laser engraver has a RetinaEngrave driver board, which comes with the RetinaEngrave Software. This makes your laser work a lot like a printer. 

A. Open your document in Coral Draw and Print it to the RetinaEngrave printer. 
B. In Retina Engrave change your mode to Raster then vector. 
C. Configure your power settings, for raster i went 100% power and 80% speed to make it nice and deep. For Vector I went 100% power and 20% speed as I know this is the proper setting for me to cut through 1/4 acrylic. 
D. Put your acrylic into the printer, focus your lens and run your job! 
E. Come back in about 10 minutes and your job should be done! 

Sorry I forgot to take some photos without paint and frosting of the acrylic. 

Step 5: Using the 3D Printer

I'm not using a Makerbot or any of the printers that can just use one software piece to print the object we created in Solidworks. 

A. Open your STL file in Cura 
B. As your Cura is likely already configured for your printer all you should have to do is click prepare print, this should spit out a .gcode file for pronterface. 
C. Open pronterface and connect it to your printer, set your bed temp and head temp to your standard levels
D. With Pronterface open the .gcode file that cura made for you
E. Start the print job, come back in about an hour (or at least thats how long it took my printer)

Again I forgot to take photos of this, I had already completed about 90% of the project before I started this instructable. 

Step 6: Prep and Paint

My 3D printer isn't the best, I have to do a lot of sanding. 

A. Sand your 3D printed surfaces flat with a course sand paper, and slowly work your way up to fine sand paper
B. Wipe away all dust
C. Prime the 3D printed base 
D. Let it dry and then sand again with  400 grit sand paper. 
E. Paint it final color in two stages 

To make the light show well in the acrylic you "frost" it. You can do this before you engrave / cut it, or you can do it after. 

A. Using 200 grit or higher sand paper sand all clear surfaces on the acrylic
B. Then use 400 grit to make it look white like frost on windows during the winter. 
C. Paint in the circuits don't bother priming this. 

Step 7: Soldering, Assembly and Final Notes

This is the hardest part, soldering wire wrap wire to SMD LED's isn't very easy. In a former life I did a lot of soldering. 

A. Super glue the SMD LED's all in the same direction to the bottom of the Doom key 
B. Solder all of the LED's in parallel
C. Solder a 470 ohm resister between the positive rail and  Anode 
D. Solder the negative rail to the Cathode 
E. Now Hot Glue the Acrylic into the base. 

When you solder the LED's already super glued to the acrylic you will notice little cracks will form if the acrylic gets to hot. 
This is a pretty easy project other than the soldering, I guess you could make all this by hand but I wanted to use my new power tools. 

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    24 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Fantastic --- Cool project! I think having two thin, clear pieces of acrylic with the circuit sandwiched in the middle would look neat for this project too. This would look great on a desk at work or a home computer workstation tabletop.

    An alternate means of construction may be to use some copper tape for the design or perhaps some vinyl film (electric blue, transparent blue, metallic gold or silver).

    Anyhow, thumbs up from a fellow Doom player and thanks for sharing!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    it was what the game achieved back in the day. we didnt have 3d games at all. the best we had were sprite based games. games like doom and wolfenstein pushed the limits and created pseudo 3d graphics(wolfenstein was basically the first raycaster, doom was the first raytracer) and gave birth to the first person shooter. in short, call of duty wouldn't exist without doom and wolfenstein.


    5 years ago on Step 3

    I hope you don't mind, but I made a revision. I figured the base could be laser cut just the same as the key card, so I sliced your STL model into layers. I haven't tried laser cutting it yet, however it should be sized so that the key is 3 layers of 3.03mm acrylic (the center piece being both clear and colored, and sandwiched in-between). I made the total width 4 inches, so it's also slightly smaller. Anyway, if anyone gives it a shot, let me know!

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    My Acrylic is 5.05mm thick, (just measured with my caliper) so this would close to 3 times as thick. But this is really cool! And will help those with access to a laser cutter and not a 3d printer! Thanks!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Just a warning, When you Dremel acrylic it will let off some pretty nasty burning plastic smells. So do it outside, I chop down larger sheets on a table saw and it makes the building smell like burning plastic.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Good tip. Thanks.
    Im aware of it, but I envisiont some other materials maybe. Must think a bit..


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent. Now do the chainsaw. Or make the key operational?

    I had Wolfenstein pretty much memorized. I never did find all the secrets though.

    2 replies

    Sorry, I forgot to add something. Then I remembered. Before I got to the end I thought the LED's would be in the base and be activated by a switch or something. Your solution is pretty slick too.

    I'm thinking of making a 2.0 where when you plug the key into the base it lights automatically. I'm also thinking of a 3.0 that yes works like a real key with a circuit board and everything.